Autumn is coming. Can you feel it? The days are shorter, the leaves are changing and berries swell in the hedgerows and trees, their vivid colour a temptation. The blackberries in our garden are now in abundance; full of juice ready to stain fingers and chins.
Our less than generous summer has meant that our fruit harvest is a little nonexistent this year. No cherries or plums, barely any apples… although the gooseberries have been amazing. Huge, swollen gooseberries we have had more than we could eat. Our “Careless” gooseberries have had their first good year too (Careless being the variety – they don’t usually go around being careless!) They a quite surreal; reddish black orbs, a little sweeter than their famous big brothers with almost an herbal aftertaste.
Now that autumn is on its way I have developed an interest in knitting hats, even though I am really not a hat person. Combining that with the urge to try Fair Isle I started working on a pattern called Phantasy on Ravelry that has Indian elephants around the crown and some lovely colour work at the top. It is going quite well so far, but it is very slow and not something I can work on without full concentration!!!
So, having finished spinning the merino yarn I mentioned in a previous blog I decided to have a simpler project on the go too.
The colours reminded me so much of the heather on the hills I have begun working on a large lacy wrap using the colours and shapes of the hills as inspiration.
The body of the wrap consists of a variation of the “feather and fan” stitch, rows of waves to show the rise and fall of the hills with a jagged border to represent the rougher and more dangerous cliff edges.
We are lucky enough to live within 10 miles of some stunning views and in the late summer the hills burst with purple as the heather cascades over the hill tops.
I love the autumn. The way we still get the warmth at the start with the occasional glorious day that surprises us. The way the leaves burn, then fall from the trees, crunching underfoot and proving hours of play when thrown into the air.
I always look forward to woodland walks, safe in the shelter of the trees, picking blackberries along the way or spotting toadstools.
I love the idea, from so many stories, of faery processions coming out in the dark of night, clothed in the shades of autumn to paint the leaves, their tiny lanterns ablaze.
Or when autumn fades into winter and the apples ripen and called for warmed juice stirred with a cinnamon stick.
I love the comfort of warm soup in a mug, drunk in the chilly garden while wrapped in warm, snugly jumpers.
Can anything match bonfires in the dark? Bonfires that crackle and blaze, the flames that hypnotise and dance and lull you toward sleep?
It is always a little sad to say goodbye to the carnival that is summer, with its myriad of colour. But without the autumn to burn it away, or the winter to return the canvas to white, how could it be enjoyed as much?
Besides, as a knitter, autumn gives the reason to wrap up in woollens again! And what could be better than that?!